Monthly Archives: July 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (2)

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an weekly meme created and hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

I really enjoyed taking part in last week’s Top Ten Tuesday, so I’m looking forward to this one. This week we’re taking a look at Top Ten Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With For 24 Hours.

I think you’ll notice a theme that all my characters are female. I just felt weird saying I’d want to go into a male mind. *shudders at the thoughts* haha.

In Death Series

1. Eve Dallas.

What a women?! If you’ve never read the “In Death” series by J.D. Robb then now is your time. Eve Dallas is all around strong, broken, witty and a no-shit taking women. A running theme you shall see is the man she manages to bag, Roarke. He’s just rich, glorious, kind, sexy, rough and rugged. He’s everything. However, I’d love to have Dallas’ instincts and be able to do some gruesome police work since I think it would be rather thrilling!

 

                            Hermione GrangerHermione Granger2

2. Hermione Granger.

She was the girl I dressed up as on world book day, the character I idolised from childhood. She made me want to be smart, read books and work really hard and probably because of her, I did lots of those things and became hard-working. It sounds stupid, but Hermione Granger as a child for me was placed on a platform above everybody else. She was witty, smart and she grew into a feisty character that I adored by the end of the serious. Not only that, but she was a little snobbish to start with and deep down she just wanted friends, and she kind of reminded me of myself. That’s one of my favourite memories of her brewing the Polyjuice potion in Chamber of Secrets.

Valkyrie Cain

3. Valkyrie Cain

Also known as Stephanie Edgeley from Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant series. She’s a kickass teenage girl, who’s smart, witty and whilst not being fearless she charges head on into everything and I truly love her character. She’s tenacious and doesn’t she just look awesome above? We meet her as a thirteen year old, who’s mature beyond her years and I’d never believe she was so young. She makes a perfect side-kick for Skulduggery, but she also takes a strong role in her own way and I’d probably say she’s more of an apprentice. If you haven’t read Skulduggery Pleasant, I’d pick up the series because they are highly amusing and really cracking!

Cat

4. Cat

My first reason for being Cat would so I could have Bones for 24-hours where he could worship me, as a sexy, hot, mother-know-the-word vampire! He just makes me all tingly. Aside from that, I think Cat is kick-ass, beautiful, sassy and just everything a female protagonist should be. I think she has a great bunch of friends too, so I’d like to laugh with Vlad and taste some blood! Oh, and this is Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series, which just rocks!

Miriam Black

5. Miriam Black

Whilst her visions of people’s death wouldn’t thrill me. I’d like the idea of living life on the edge and being a little bit of a bad girl, since I seem to be more off a good one. Not only that, but guess what?! She gets a pretty handsome and rugged guy who makes me all warm and happy inside. Although she has a mouth like a sailor, which is definitely NOT me, it would be an experience, I’m sure.

                          VioletViolet2

6. Violet Bauldelaire

She’s the leader of the family and an extraordinary inventor. I’d like to be good with my hands and whilst my own capabilities at using my hands to create things is next to nothing. Her life might not be happy, but it would be nice to experience the sibling love and I think in general she’s a fantastic young-adult character.

Sophie Neveu

7. Sophie Neveu

Hmmmmmm. I’m not particularly sure why I picked this one. But she’s smart, can speak a language other than English and has a fantastic heritage. Her life in general seems to be interesting and I’d love to be able to speak another language fluently so spending 24 hours as her would be exciting I presume.

lover-eternal

8. Mary

Mary is from the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward and whilst it might seem strange to want to be somebody who has to deal with so much and illnesses, she is genuinely a wonderful, lovely person who has the biggest heart and it’s a reason I truly adore her character. She helps everybody out and doesn’t expect anything in return. However, my reasoning for wanting to be her is the soul reason of Rhage. I am in love with him as a character. He is my favourite brother of the series and I can never get enough of him! So I’d love to be Mary just to get Rhage for 24 hours. 

               lucyLucy_coronation

9. Lucy Pevensie

She always seems to have the most fun out of the four. Making friends with all the cute creatures and she spends the most time in Narnia. I’d pick Susan, but I think Lucy has more gusto and adventure in her. I forgot about the Narnia world in my TTT settings, so I certainly would need to experience the world of magic through youthful eyes.

One Hundred Years of Vicissitude

10. Kohana

Most if not all of you, will have probably never heard of Kohana, but she was certainly an interesting character I came across. Whilst she wasn’t the perfect character the span of her life was certainly exciting and being Japanese and living in a different culture would make for a different kind of 24 hours. Not only that, but she travels across time in a ghost state and seems to have lots of different secrets up her sleeve. Her life experiences are numerous and whilst I wouldn’t carry any of them out in real life, it would be freeing to act them out in fiction.

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Holiday

welsh-flag

Hey guys,

So I’m off to Wales for the week. At the time this is posting I should be in, or very much nearing Wales. The pictures below are of the place I’m going and where I’ll be staying. Yes! I’m in a caravan. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but we’ll see how it goes. It also means I’ve have no internet for the next week (or until Friday) so I’ll be relying on my scheduled posting for a couple of my posts for the next few days.

I’m hoping it doesn’t rain and that the weather will stay nice for me. I probably won’t see much of the beach because I intend to walk and maybe take a hike up Snowdon. We’ll see how things go.

I’ll get back to replying to all your comments when I get back.

For now, it’s goodbye and I’ll see you when I get back from Wales.

           lidobeachcaravanlido beach

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Down

Down

Down by Mark Adam Kaplan

Genre: Young-Adult, Urban

Published: March 25th 2012 by Bewrite Books

DOWN chronicles Leon Mendoza as he struggles to get his life back together before his upcoming court date. With his father in prison, and his mother in deep depression, Leon is on his own to handle the fallout from his arrest. His homeboys worry that he’ll testify against them, his teachers have little or no pity for his situation, and his mother buries herself in her room all day, or watches novellas, completely closing him out.

But there is hope. A caring teacher, a proactive Probation Officer, a part-time job at a Chinese restaurant, and the attention of a beautiful girl fight to balance out the hand that Heaven dealt Leon.

Would it be enough to help him avoid his father’s fate? It all comes down to one terrible night, when all of Leon’s worlds collide in an explosion that threatens to take him DOWN.

My Review:

Well, I didn’t know what to expect when I first started reading this. It was much shorter than I’d expected actually—but I probably should have actually looked to see. Nevertheless it was an interesting read and one that kept me absorbed for much of the read. However, the ending stunned me. I though it was very realistic and gritty and whilst I tend to be a sucker for a happily ever after and for everything unrealistic, this book is pure realism that I thought was brilliant!

Another aspect of this book that I really loved was that it was told from the perspective of a young teenage boy. I find that young-adult fiction tends to be dominated by female protagonists with a love interest and this was refreshing. It was a male telling his story about the trouble of the streets with the main focus of the plot being on his struggle to be do the right thing by himself and his family or his gang. However you can imagine that being in a teenage boys mind things did tend to focus on the female anatomy a little.

“Before I knew it, I traced the outline of her ass, the stool, the long tangles of her hair …”

Personally I thought at 15 this boy was a little young, but I suppose that is the male mind!Another point being that since the story is in first perspective, the language and linguistics of the boy are very much from the “urban” world and he’s not grammatically correct and his use of calling people a “foo’” really seemed to grate on my nerves. However, it created the realistic setting of the novel. We really delve into society on a lower level and I found it interesting while irritating to my inner grammar freak.

Not only that, but Kaplan recreated the real world and the sufferings of problems in society and my heart was really out there for Leon. I just wanted to drag him away from it all and when he was so thrilled over little things like toothpaste and food it was so heart breaking.

“It had been so long since I had been to school, I forgot about the food. But I didn’t forget the taste. First time I ate it was like I never stopped.”

This really brought out the urban-ness of the genre out for me. Kaplan sure didn’t shy away from the truth of society, the full out gang presence and the threats, the beatings, weapons and violence. We had a full blown gang war with blood splattered, brains blown, knives stabbed into bodies and if you’re squeamish, this probably isn’t a book for you.

A family on the edge of poverty with the young protagonist Leon falling into a world of prisons, trouble and a never ending problems. This is the worlds realistic problems at the heart of fiction! Leon struggles the whole way through the novel with sticking to the morals of other people and finding himself. This certainly is a fiction that follows the path of growing up and all the trials and tribulations a teen can face. I liked that he eventually seemed to find himself with the help of Old Chong and stood for who he was and not what other people wanted because that could be a problem. However by the end of the novel I wanted to scream too and beat at Leon with a bat for his decisions in life.

Leon happens to have a love interest too. She’s named Yvonne and there seems to be quite a lot of hype about her and to be truthful, I didn’t really like her. Especially when she said this.

“Well, even thought I am perfect, sometimes I don’t get everything done. But I think that just makes me a little more perfect.”

Really? Who says that! Otherwise I really liked Leon as a character, but I didn’t ever connect with Yvonne. Whilst I thought her intentions for Leon being good were good and noble, she just grated on my nerves. She never really did anything and told us she had “problems” but we never learnt more. It would have been nice to see more from Yvonne as a strong character and rather less of her being a weakling.

Old Chong was pretty brilliant as a character. He was the wise, old Chinese man and had a strong will and never allowed Leon to push him over like he seemed on the verge of many times. Old Chong I could definitely imagine being a real person and he had a rather sad tale. It was a shame his story was never really concluded.

Overall I enjoyed reading this, found it short and gripping. Kaplan delved into the world and workings of gang culture with all their loyalty. Leon was a troubled and gritty male protagonist who you really become immersed in as a character. I felt like we ended too soon and not with quite enough resolve of all the questions that floated in my head. Otherwise, I’d take a look at this because it’s certainly different.

My Rating:

3.5 books

More stalking available here:

Let me know what you think!

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Filed under 2012 Publication, 3.5 Books, Bewrite Books, E-book, Mark Adam Kaplan, Urban, Young Adult

Stacking the Shelves (7)

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

Here it’s chance to share the books you’ve acquired this week and what you’re excited about. So it will be a weekly Sunday occurrence to see what we’re ‘Stacking the Shelves’ with!

E-Books Received for Review.

      The Demon Catchers of Milan.        The Pack Retribution.             Throne of Glass.

         The Demon Catchers of MilanThe Pack RetributionThrone of Glass

Thank you to Egmont USA, Bloomsbury UK & ANZ and and Phenomenal One Press.

Crashing Eden

Crashing Eden

Thank you to Michael Sussman’s publicist.

Bought this Week.

The Pledge.

The Pledge

Borrowed from a friend this Week.

Phantom

Pre-Ordered this Week.

The Casual Vacancy.

The Casual Vacancy

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Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger
I was gifted the Versatile Blogger Award by Amanda on Vivalabooks. This is my third blog award and once again I am utterly stunned and honoured! Vivalabooks is great and I was so surprised by the gift of the award.
Here are the Rules:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

2. Add the Versatile Blogger award picture to your post.

3. Share 7 random facts about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging.

5. Let the nominees know that they’ve been nominated.

Seven Random Facts.

1. I own lots of green clothes. 3 pairs of green skinny jeans. 3 green dresses. 1 green skirt. Dozens of green t-shirts and lots more green clothing. Green is my favourite colour.

2. I love eating cold pizza.

3. I have three favourite Disney films, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King and Tangled.

4. I love going to see musicals and one of the latest ones I’ve been to see is The Wizard of Oz in London which was fantastic!

5. I cried hysterically at Remember Me when Robert Pattinson died!

6. Sounding grammatically correct is very important to me.

7. I’m incredibly accident prone, giving the idea that I gain an injury at least once a week. This week I walked into the door frame in the dark and hit my head really hard.

Nominated Bloggers.

1. Picture Me Reading

2. Uncorked Thoughts

3. Pages Unbound

4. Fountain Reflections

5. The Headless Owl

6. The Flutterby Room

7. Persephone’s Winged Reviews

8. Book Tasty

9. M. Latimer-Ridley

10. Midnight Coffee Monster

11. Read and Reviewed

12. Singing the Melody of My Life

13. Don’t Quote Lily

14. Jonababez

15. My Life is a Notebook

There really are some fantastic blogs on this list that I absolutely adore, so be sure to check them out! Once again, thank you and enjoy! Smile

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The Rook

The Rook

The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Adult

Publication: January 11th 2012 by Little, Brown and Company

The body you are wearing used to be mine.
So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.
She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.
In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined.

My Review:

This book kicks off with a bang! When your first line starts with this, you know it’s got to be good!

“Dear You,

The body you are wearing used to be mine. The scar on the inner left thigh is there because I fell out of a tree and impaled my leg at the age of nine.”

My thought pattern was along the lines of “HOLY SHIT” when I first started this book. It sounds dramatic, it is dramatic! However, my big but comes here, it took me an awfully long time to get into the story. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed every moment of reading, but it felt like a long time before I really got drawn into the real grit of the story.

I’m going to start with Myfanwy because I loved her so much. For me she seemed a little bit of a pushover from her letters of “Dear You”. However, the new Myfanwy is anything but and I absolutely adored her hands down. She was kick-butt, smart, sassy and she was guaranteed to make me laugh. My favourite quote from her has to be, without a doubt this one.

“And where is he going to lick me?

“In the examination room,” said Ingrid.

“What? no, what I mean is, whereabouts on my body will they be licking me?” demanded Myfanwy.”

How much more could I ask from her? Whilst being a really strong leading female protagonist, she managed to inflict great humour into everything for me! I think the dynamic of her relationship with Ingrid and in addition to her amnesia she made a really quirky character who could pull of moments of stupidity because of her lack of knowledge. It was pretty brilliant!

I have to say following Myfawny learning and adapting to her role within the Chequy and growing and developing as a person in all fields was utterly endearing. Not only had she changed from the person we are first led to know is Myfawny, but she matures across “The Rook” into an actual person and not just the work-a-holic.

In addition to our fantastic main character, we had some really well thought secondary characters that had a full history and we really got to engage with. My favourite being Bishop Alrich and Ingrid. Not only does O’Malley take the time to really write up the background to the story, but he sets the scene, describes it and really immerses you into everything. I could really visualise every moment of the story. His descriptions were top-notch and they didn’t take a moment away from the thrills and heart-pumping moments, they only added to the speed of the novel and it’s intensity.

“The gangly youth was covered in flesh-colored scales that glittered in the light. Long scars sliced up his face from the corners of his mouth. The little girl had massive talons coming out of her fingers.”

So whilst this book is labelled as “Fantasy” I wouldn’t put it with the whole medieval sword-fighting she-bang, it’s very much a modern world technological front. Even though I love the medieval side of fantasy more, I equally adored this one because we got a really different style. The members of the Chequy are registered as different pieces of a check board, which is a fantastic idea. We have Rooks, Bishops, Pawns and then the Lord and Lady since they would step onto King and Queen territory otherwise which was not quite favoured. O’Mally certainly builds a highly descriptive, absorbing world around these titles and world. It’s obvious he spent a great deal of time planning the regimented ranks and the admission criteria.  Thus being why the title is “The Rook”  which Myfawny is. This all sets out for a very rigid, strict and secret government department that functions to take in those with the supernatural abilities that really range to all kinds of things, vampires, four bodies to one mind, humans turning into metal. O’Malley creates so many unique powers and possibilities that evolve within the Chequy and thrive under their control whilst the Chequy also works to cover up all secrete outbreaks of the ‘supernatural’ across the country. It sometimes makes you wonder if we really do have a secret division in our country like this.

Not only that, but I labelled this mystery. It is very much leading you on a tale of twists and complex turns where you have no clue to what is about to happen. There is certainly a lot to be discovered and very little given away. I think it’s always refreshing to read a truly unpredictable novel and the whole reasoning of why’s and where’s is certainly enough to keep you on your toes if you aren’t cringing away from the gore, or lapping it up like me. I do suggest if you are easily queasy or faint-heartened to gore this might not be the best book for you since when a limb gets torn off or a liquid monster is throwing gooey gunk all around it’s not the most settling of things. However it does make for a read with no holding back and a race neck speed finish.

I found the method of telling the story and narrative to be equally engaging. We switched from letters written by the “old” Myfawny in first person detailing her life, into a third person narrative from the “new” Myfawny. This really enables her to feel like a new toddler stumbling with it’s first steps and she has to fit into a lifestyle that isn’t hers. It adds to the outsider effect and really draws you in. Adding to the letters we have the purple binder that Myfawny has detailed ever aspect of her life in that surrounds the Chequy. I really liked O’Malley’s thought into this and the great details he went into. Not only that, but we saw some wit and humour touched into that too.

“With this reformation of the Estate and its methods, there were some kinks that needed to be worked out, and, in my opinion, Norman Goblet stands out as one of the kinkiest.”

I never would have picked up O’Malley’s “The Rook” without it being selected as group read and I’m very glad I did because whilst it took me a while to get into, once I actually settled down to read, I found it nearly impossible to stop reading. “The Rook” is a unique fantasy novel, with a brilliant premise, a strong protagonist and lots of wit, humour and excitement tossed in amongst the mix of supernatural. I advise you all to flock and by “The Rook” now because it surely will not disappoint! Especially since it’s actually one of those novels where you find everything answered and tidly swept away.

My Rating:

4 books

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Let me know what you think!

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Filed under 2012 Publication, 4 Books, Adult, Daniel O'Malley, E-book, Fantasy, Little, Brown and Company, Mystery

From the Review Pile (4)

From the Review Pile

From the Review Pile is a meme hosted by Stepping Out of the Page every Thursday.

The aim of this meme is to showcase books that you’ve received for review (or if you don’t receive review books, any book that you own and really want to read/review) but haven’t yet got around to reading, in order to give the book some extra publicity.

                                       

Well this week I didn’t even realise that I could get access this book, so when I got it through I was thoroughly surprised and excited. Hopefully I’ll get around to it soon, since I have a huge tbr-pile that only ever gets longer.

Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Expected Publication: August 7th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Children’s

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.
Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Goodreads

What did you get this week?

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Waiting on Wednesday (4)

WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This meme highlights some of the books whose releases bloggers are most anticipating this year.

This week I’m hotly anticipating…

Level 2

Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

Expected Publication: January 15th 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Since her untimely death the day before her eighteenth birthday, Felicia Ward has been trapped in Level 2, a stark white afterlife located between our world and the next.

Along with her fellow prisoners, Felicia passes the endless hours downloading memories and mourning what she’s lost—family, friends, and the boy she loved, Neil.
Then a girl in a neighboring chamber disappears, and nobody but Felicia seems to recall she existed in the first place. Something is obviously very wrong. When Julian—a dangerously charming guy Felicia knew in life—comes to offer Felicia a way out, she learns the truth: a rebellion is brewing to overthrow the Morati, the guardians of Level 2.

Felicia is reluctant to trust Julian, but then he promises what she wants the most—to be with Neil again—if only she’ll join the rebels. Suspended between Heaven and Earth, Felicia finds herself in the center of an age-old struggle between good and evil. As memories from her life come back to haunt her, and as the Morati hunt her down, Felicia will discover it’s not just her own redemption at stake… but the salvation of all mankind.

Add to Goodreads

What are you waiting for this week?

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Top Ten Tuesday (1)

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an weekly meme created and hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

So I decided to sign up for Top Ten Tuesday (I felt like I was missing out—and it always looks so pretty!).  I’m quite excited for this weeks Top Ten because I think I’ll actually be able to do it! (Some of the other Top Ten lists I’ve seen have left me thinking WHAT?!) haha.

Without further ado, I’ll move onto my Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings In Books!

Harry Potter Books

1. Harry Potter. How can this not be my number one?! J.K. Rowling depicts a magical world right beneath the noses of us “muggles” and intertwines it with realistic settings making it descriptive and entertaining. I don’t think any book has quite drawn me in the way Harry Potter has. We might be in the real world, but we’re also transported to the magical world of Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, amongst so many other magical settings. Along with the fact that it all takes place in my home country of England makes me just fall in love with the Harry Potter world just a little bit more.

Abhorsen_Series

2. Abhorsen Triology. This has to be one of my favourite young-adult fantasy books and it’s the only series I’ve read by Garth Nix (as of now), but I truly adored it! The world is fantastic. We have this wall that separates the ‘normal’ world and then across the wall where there is lots of dark magic, kingdoms, and the necromancers. We get a mixture of the old medieval world and the modern world so close, whilst having magic and darkness right over the wall. There are the seven gates to death and the journey the necromancers take through them and the different trials within each one—it’s just fabulous. One of my favourite moments is in the glaciers across the wall where they have flying machines powered by magic. Everything is so vivid and different.

 

In Death Series

3. In Death. Set in New York in 2058 onwards, the In Death series might be a more ‘modern’ world or ‘realistic’ but with the latest technology and new medicines, it seems like a fantastic world to be part of. Robb provides all the grit and gore of the downtown areas that are deprived while still creating the wonder of the high class and rich. I really feel like I get absorbed into the world of J.D. Robb’s books!

 

The Immortal Rules

4.  The Immortal Rules.

Well?! I adored this book and the world was pretty rough and ragged. After all it is a dystopia novel, so we can’t expect happily ever after worlds. There is a thing called a Vampire City which is ruled and dominated by the vampires. The people are blood cattle and those surrounding are left to forage for themselves unless they give blood to the vampires. Those outside are scavengers searching for food, books are not allowed! How can this ever happen? Everything is dark and sinister. Then on the outside, everything is abandoned, and it reminded me of the Walking Dead TV show on FX with the abandoned cars and desolate landscape. It was truly a well thought out world.

 

Inkheart

5. Inkheart.

  Inkheart starts in the normal world and then we transgress across into the world of the book, Inkheart. The concept itself is entirely awesome. Here we have a real medieval type of fantasy world, with castles and warriors, but then we have the silvertongues who can bring creatures and people to life by reading aloud from a book. We have the shadow and all the dangers of this book world and there is so much world building about Inkheart designed that we are drawn into the world of a book from the ‘real’ world and then can draw ourselves out again through the silvertongues is amazing. The film is equally enjoyable as it’s own entity.

Hunger Games Series

6. The Hunger Games.

Another dystopia world. I felt like we didn’t get enough of our world at times from these books, but the idea of the 13 districts and the capitol. It just begins as a fabulous world all on it’s own. Then we have the different conditions for each district and all the lavish goods off the capitol. To top of these fabulous settings, we have the Hunger Games itself, my favourite setting has to be in Catching Fire and the Hunger Games we witness there! These books really have an awesome world—but one I wouldn’t want to witness in the future.

Sebastian

7. Sebastian.

Whilst I couldn’t quite say I loved the book, the world blew me away! Different landscapes that make up a world and conjoin by bridges that link everything up. The landscapes are created by a landscaper who has control over them and the good and evil of the world reflect the landscapes. We have demons and water horses that drag people into their depth and drown them and there are tonnes of creatures. I love how the land manipulated and changed to its inhabitants. Then we had the Den of Iniquity which revolved around Sebastian which is just a fabulous place on its own, but saying any more will spoil the story!

king arthur

8. Dragon’s Child.

I picked this one for it’s historical setting and the idea of King Arthur having two wives—which will be developed into across the series I believe. However we really get the old feel of the history and the roman buildings and battle times. I appreciated the surroundings and real drawn in feeling to the historical setting that I think some authors fail to do in historical romance. We got the battle front, but M.K. Hume also took the time to work on building the home of ‘Arthur’ as a child and the surrounding woods and then when he visits King Uther and the palace and all the feelings of the surroundings and decaying room of the dead King Uther. It’s all very sinister and I loved every moment of it!

The Little White Horse

9. The Little White Horse.

I picked this up first for the reason of the quote on the front. “I absolutely adored The Little White Horse.” J.K. Rowling. The name had me picking up this book, and whilst it wasn’t quite a different world, and it’s a long time since I read this book. I remember the interwoven ideas that surrounded this and the whole “is it real, is it not” and all the whole mystery that surrounded the old house and setting, The Little White Horse is a classic childhood story for me!

BlackDaggerBrotherhoodSeries

10. Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Finally, The Black Dagger Brotherhood is my favourite paranormal-romance series and whilst it is set in Caldwell and the normal world, the fact that we go across to the other side where the chosen are and visit a world of white and we have so many aspects to Caldwell and really get transported to each scene, it managed to make my top ten vivid worlds and settings.

WOW! I’m proud of myself for all that. Took some time and thought, but I think we’re there. What are you top ten Tuesdays? Post me your links! And your thoughts!

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The Darkest Day

The Darkest DayThe Darkest Day by Britt Brury
Genre: Paranormal-Romance, Adult
Series: Immortal Heat #1
Publication: July 3rd 2012 by Grand Central Publishing

 

ALL-CONSUMING DESIRE . . .
Izel Campbell was raised to believe she is an immortal Fionn with the magical skills of persuasion. But when she travels to Scotland to visit her ancestral home, Izel discovers that she is actually the world’s last living human. Forced to run for her life, Izel crosses paths with Kelvin Kerr, the Campbells’ greatest foe-and the most magnificent warrior she has ever seen.
BURNS BRIGHTEST . . .
A thousand-year-old battle chief of the Kerr clan, Kelvin lives only to avenge his father, who died at the hands of the bloody Campbells. Honor demands he kill the Campbell heir, but when he learns that the lovely Izel is both Campbell “and” human, Kelvin is torn between duty and desire . . . ON “THE DARKEST DAY.”

Review:

I’d heard some very positive things about this book before I even began reading, so I had hopes that it would reignite some of my passion for the paranormal-romance genre. I have to admit, this is the genre I read the most books for and truly adore reading books in. So I was hoping for something new and different and I certainly got it. I’ve never read the books that reside around highlanders or any of those sorts, but this is set in Scotland with a world full of paranormal creatures and just one remaining human. The premise for this story already had me hooked from the very first moment. At that point I’m just going to revert to the cover and I can I say, I drooled just the tiniest bit. A man holding a sword, with a toned, tanned body, can it get much more enticing?

From the very first moment this story had drawn me in and I found myself picking up a pad of paper to jot down a few quotes I liked—this is the first time I’ve done this. In large it was to help writing my review, but still, the fact that I wanted to do this, surprised me. One of my favourite quotes from the first few minutes of reading was…

“Too bad her cell phone didn’t work. Otherwise her Maps app would have taken her straight there.”

At this moment I knew we were in modern world, but then we seem to revert into a medieval setting with the castles and swords. It was so bizarre to see it meshed together, mobile phones, castles and swords. It took me a while to get my head around because when you get drawn into the trekking across country by foot and then suddenly Kelvin whips out a mobile phone it certainly caught me out. However it all becomes part of the story and you get really integrated into the world. I think it’s a fantastic idea to see modern and medieval all together and Brury took on a challenge and combined it perfectly!

The world itself is made up of four realms, The Earth Realm, The Cypher Realm, The Low Realm and The High Realm. A particularly useful feature was the glossary at the back to really go into depth about these. We didn’t really go into much detail about the four realms in the story, but I’m hoping this is something Brury will build on because I really appreciate a solid world. From the glossary we get a lot more information and some fun little descriptions about the worlds than Brury reveals in the whole of the novel and I found this a little disappointing. I want to be immersed in the four worlds whilst I’m reading not when I get to the end. Hopefully Brury will rectify this for the future and not leave us with some great little quotes at the end instead.

“Hell is not where a dark soul goes to rot…it is where an evil soul goes to thrive.”

See?! I want to know why she couldn’t have given us this IN the novel rather than as an addition at the end. I would have adored to read some world building to truly top this novel off.

Kelvin. He was melt in a puddle, oh-my-gosh worthy. Kelvin takes the dominant male to a whole different level, but he also has a sensitive side that comes across as the novel progresses. He’s also a dumbass male and needs to be reminded, hit and left to ponder his misdeeds for a while, but that only adds to the entertainment. He’s Scottish and Brury never lets you forget this with the accent she creates and upholds the whole way through the novel. And even whilst he’s Scottish, I could still understand him and imagine the voice in my head. I really love being able to do that! I thought he was a really strong male lead and you have to remember he’s a typical male so his thoughts are very sex related, but it’s not bordering on an obscene level.

“ But just the thought of tasting her olive skin and sucking on those crimson lips made his cock throb. He couldn’t remember ever wanting a female this bad.”

I liked that Brury didn’t take the obscenities and sexual language to an unbelievable or crass level which piqued my interest and kept me reading. Rather I felt absorbed and integrated in the passion of the moment. Everything felt intense and butterflies-in-your-stomach worthy. I really felt like the romance evolved over time, went through realistic challenges and whilst sex was used as an anchor and escape route, isn’t that all part of human nature in pushing aside problems with sex?

The creatures Brury created were not your vampires—although these got a mention—or even a werewolf but we had Fion and Pooka as the two main breeds. They each have their own paranormal aspects which get unveiled as the book goes along—I wouldn’t want to give too much away describing them—and they really add to the unique creation of this book!

Izel is a female character I found believable and a little bit tedious at times. I wanted to throttle her and say “GODDAMMIT STOP CRYING AND JUMP THE MAN!” However she had valid reasons for most of her behaviour and I did really like her character in the end. She was cute and quirky and she ended up being a little bit of sturdy no-shit character by the end of the story. I appreciated that about her because she developed as a character and really blossomed on her own.

To add to all the fabulous romance, steamy sex scenes, action and thrills, this book had some real humour and quirkiness for me that was brought with Kelvin’s cheeky character.

“I did no’ see a photo of a man in there. Can I assume—?” “That is none of your business.” “Aye, so no man.” His face stretched into a victorious grin as his eyes roamed over her body.”

Overall I really enjoyed reading this book and found it a refreshing change in the paranormal-romance sector. I hope to see more from Brury soon and I don’t think you’ll find her disappointing!

My Rating:

4 books

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Thank you to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy of this in exchange for my honest review.

* Quotes are taken from and uncorrected proof copy and may change in the final draft.

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Filed under 2012 Publication, 4 Books, Adult, Britt Brury, E-book, Grand Central Publishing, Paranormal Romance